Saturday, 10 November 2018

Six Years and Still Counting Stitches

Today is The Knitting Needle and the Damage Done's sixth anniversary! I have sometimes in the past managed to come up with theme posts on the anniversary gift for that year, but the sixth anniversary gifts of iron (traditional) or candy (modern) are leaving me rather uninspired. I could write a post about the use of an iron in steam blocking I suppose, but.. meh. So this year you just get the usual photo memes, which you probably don't find nearly as funny as I do, and some of my thoughts on the occasion.

In terms of external markers, this blog has done about as usual this year, with me posting as regularly as my chronic fatigue issues allow. When I'm posting regularly, the blog gets approximately 1000 page views a day, and it's approaching 2 million total page views since its launch. The Knitting Needle and the Damage Done Facebook page is doing very satisfactorily, having surpassed 15,000 likes a month or so ago, and it has long been exactly what I had hoped it would be: a fun, chatty place for knitters to hang out and enjoy interesting and amusing knitting-related posts. The page's engagement rate compares quite well to the Facebook pages for some of the best-known knitting magazines, though they have far larger followings than my page does:

The KNDD group on Ravelry, which I set up two years ago, has over 330 members. I'm also on Pinterest and Twitter, though I use both of those accounts as much for personal stuff as I do for promoting this blog.

When I think back over the past six years, the most remarkable outcome of my blogging efforts seems to be the effect this blog has had on me. For one thing, I am surprised to find myself still doing this, and still enjoying the work so much. Learning about, evaluating, and documenting my thoughts about the newest designs and ideas in the world of knitting never grows old for me. Secondly, I've learned so much from my efforts. My knitting skills have improved considerably -- my rule is to try to learn something new from each project -- and I'm so much happier with the items I make because I've better defined my tastes in general and learned so much about what I really like and don't like and what will and won't suit me, as well as how to put together a coherent, versatile, comprehensive wardrobe. I don't buy on impulse any more, but instead plan carefully, decide exactly what I need or want, and then make or shop around for just the right thing. And amazingly given how little I have to spend on clothes these days, my wardrobe is in far better shape than it was in 2012. (Except for shoes, sigh. I have yet to find a way to get good quality shoes for next to nothing the way I can with clothes.) And if, besides entertaining my readers, I've helped any of my readers learn to take the more critical, strategic approach to their knitting projects and wardrobe planning that I've developed myself and that will save them money, make them happier with their projects and purchases, help them dress and look their best, and reduce their environmental footprint, then I've accomplished something that I can be proud of.

So, this site has been worthwhile in terms of its effect on me, and hopefully on others as well. But I don't know how much longer I will continue blogging. From a financial point of view, the site has not been a success. It makes just a few hundred dollars a year, which for the amount of time I put in on it is not a good return -- it's something in the neighbourhood of a dollar per hour of work, possibly less. When I have so few good hours in the day in which I have the energy to focus and be productive and I'm not making a living (and, truth be told, am living partly on borrowed money), I should probably be investing that time in something that pays decently. I'm not thinking of throwing in the knitting needles just yet, but what I may do is re-evaluate next year.

If you'd like to help keep The Knitting Needle and the Damage Done going, there are a few ways you can help. For one, there is a donation button on the sidebar. If you read the site regularly, and can afford it, please consider making an annual or semi-annual donation in much the same way as you might renew a subscription to a magazine or other periodical that you enjoy. If, say, 80% of my regular readers gave me $25 a year each, I'd be making a reasonable income from the site. If you are a regular reader but are struggling financially yourself and can't afford to donate, please continue to enjoy the site. I'm glad to be here for you in the same way as other people make their web content available to me for free.

Whether you donate or not, there are other no-cost ways you can help me. If you shop on, your navigating to it via the Amazon link on my sidebar or any other Amazon link on my site will mean that I get a small percentage of whatever you spend at no extra cost for you. And as I am sure you know, sharing links to the blog on your own social media accounts and telling other knitters about it will also help grow my readership, which will mean more ad revenue for me over time.

Lastly, but above all, thanks for reading and following and commenting, everyone. Your interest and feedback and enthusiasm is one of the rewards of blogging. Here's to at least one more year of knitting damage!


  1. I really enjoy your blog especially the knitting magazine reviews. I didn't realize about the donation button on the side bar until you mentioned it today. I decided I'd send you a donation by Paypal. It is some kind of kismet as I sold one of my knitting books to someone on Ravelry for $21.00 and the credit was there which I forgot about so I rounded it up and sent you $25. Here's to a great 2019.

    1. Donation received! Thank you so, so much for your kind and generous support.

  2. Please keep blogging - I enjoy your blogs so much!

  3. I also enjoy your posts. Congrats on 6 years! Also, thanks for mentioning the environmental footprint aspect of carefully planning and DIYing your wardrobe.

  4. I adore your blog. While you demonstrate a tremendous respect for all things knitting, you also have a healthy dose of irreverance which makes us all laugh. Keep up the good work-love me some 'Technique Tuesday' and 'Whatever Wednesday' among others.